Obituaries for October 16, 2012

Written by Lacey Peterson, The Union Democrat October 16, 2012 02:05 pm

John Richard Arndt

March 1, 1938 — Oct. 6, 2012

Sonora resident John Richard Arndt died Oct. 6 at his home after an eight-month battle with leukemia. He was 74.

Mr. Arndt was born in Sacramento to John and Laura Maxene Arndt. 

Soon after, his family moved to Portland, Ore., where he grew up. He graduated from Grant High School in 1955 and Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill., with a bachelor of science degree in geology in 1959. 

He served in the U.S. Army from 1961 to 1963 during the Berlin Crisis.

Afterwards, he attended Oregon State University and graduated in 1965 with a master of education in guidance and a master of science in general science.

He earned a doctorate in administration and higher education from Michigan State University in 1970.

During high school and college he enjoyed cross-country and track as a middle distance runner.

Mr. Arndt worked in higher education for many years. He was director emeritus of advising and testing services at California State University, Fresno, until retiring in 2000. He then served as a part-time adviser at Fresno City College for six years. 

He moved to Sonora in 2006 when he married Dorothy Hill Woodford. 

A lifelong Christian, he was involved with several churches and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship where he taught Bible studies. He was a member of Sierra Bible Church in Sonora, where he served in men’s ministries and home Bible studies. He was a religious volunteer at Sierra Conservation Center.

Mr. Arndt also volunteered as a court appointed special advocate for children in foster care and was involved in a reading and tutoring program for underprivileged children and with Interfaith Community Social Services.

He enjoyed traveling, reading and studying scripture.

Mr. Arndt is survived by his wife of six years, Dorothy Hill Woodford Arndt, of Sonora; his children, Scott Arndt, of Fresno, Heidi Vandemark and her husband, Lorne, of Modesto; his grandchildren, Tyler and Kenna Vandemark, of Modesto; his sister, Cathy Congdon, of Killingworth, Conn.; his former wife, Jan Arndt, of Fresno; and several nieces and nephews.

Donations in his memory can be made to Sierra Bible Church missions fund, 15171 Tuolumne Road, Sonora, CA 95370, or InterVarsity Christian Fellowships/U.S.A. Donation Services, P.O. Box 7805, Madison, WI 53791-9703.

A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Sierra Bible Church.

University of California, San Francisco, is handling arrangements. 

Sue Ann Rivera

March 17, 1934 — Oct. 6, 2012

Sonora resident Sue Ann Rivera died Oct. 6 at her home. She was 78. 

Mrs. Rivera was born in San Jose to George H. Stanley and Zelda May (Meeker) Stanley.

She retired from San Jose to Sonora more than 20 years ago. 

She trained at Bryman College in San Jose in 1974 and worked as a medical assistant for many years. She was appointed to the Tuolumne County In-Home Supportive Services Advisory Committee for 10 years. 

She retired because of disabilities. 

She enjoyed yard sales, antiquing and playing bingo. 

Mrs. Rivera was preceded in death by her husband of 22 years, Marcos Rivera in 1992; her father, George H. Stanley, in 1974; and her mother, Zelda May (Meeker) Stanley, in 1952.

She is survived by her five children, Tim Gairaud, of Boulder Creek, Lori Webb and her husband, J.J., of Boulder Creek, Patti Gairaud, of San Jose, Geri Swanson, of Pajaro Dunes, and Suzanne Gairaud, of Sunnyvale; her grandchildren, Larissa Ramirez and her husband, Chris, of Ben Lomond, Jason Webb, of San Francisco, Erin Webb, of Amherst, Mass., Tony King and his wife, Alicia, of Thousand Oaks, Gina King, of Sacramento, Teddy Thomas, Jasmine Gairaud and Ruby Gairaud, all of San Jose, Ryan Swanson, of Monte Sereno, Sara Swanson, of Campbell, Kasey Collins, of Sunnyvale, and T.J. Collins, of San Jose; caretaker, John Cusick, of Tuolumne County; 17 great-grandchildren; and three cousins.

Donations in her memory may be made to a charity of choice.

A memorial service was held at Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland, which also handled arrangements.